Just a day after Rich Lowry agreed to dispatch contributor John Derbyshire for hate-cognition the editor was called on his new standard of association. From the left's Internet middle-management corps came the blog-memo: Robert Weissberg said "white nationalism" at an American Renaissance conference, surely a sin as great as Derbyshire's--ergo...
Lowry wouldn't make the same mistake twice--this time he'd waste no time in capitulation. He posted Weissberg's denunciation immediately, thanking the complainant for bringing the matter to his attention. Moving along...
But opening his disavowal with "Unbeknowst [sic] to us..." invites more interrogation: How could you have not known? Just what did you know? Who's responsible for associating the magazine with these men? Why the typo? Someone have a guilty conscience?
Alex Kurtagic notes Lowry's curt dismissal of Weissberg uses the same adjective for Weissberg's actions--"noxious"--his leftward cousin used in the initial accusatory blog. Perhaps it was coincidence--but such sloppiness is hardly a more charitable explanation.
I imagine it as that familiar scene in the movies; a mafioso reprimands an underling, delivers an order, then:
"Do we understand each other?"
Mafioso leans in, speaks deliberately:
"No. I need to hear you say it. Do we understand each other?"
Subordinate gets it, grows solemn.
"We understand each other. And thank you Mr ----".
"Don't mention it".
Mafioso gives subordinate a condescending pat on the cheek.*
Now go get your shine box, Mr. Lowry.
*Lowry's quick-cave drew the condescension it deserved in an update to the original point-and-sputter post:
Update: Lowry has severed ties with Weissberg. In a statement, Lowry noted, "Unbeknowst to us, occasional Phi Beta Cons contributor Robert Weissberg (whose book was published a few years ago by Transaction) participated in an American Renaissance conference where he delivered a noxious talk about the future of white nationalism. He will no longer be posting here. Thanks to those who brought it to our attention."
It's all so genial!